Drones for Surveying

See How to use Drone LiDAR to Complete As Built Survey in Down to Earth Surveying Reality Series




Down to Earth, a surveying reality series shows how real surveyors collect data and turn it into real deliverables, despite challenging conditions, rugged terrain and lurking dangers.

The team at Spatial Data Consultants (SDC), an expert geospatial consulting firm in High Point, North Carolina, is using drone LiDAR technology to more efficiently create accurate and precise As-Built Surveys. Traditionally, the documentation of As-Built construction surveys relied on conventional methods such as total stations and digital photogrammetry. Now you can see how drone LiDAR is making the process much more efficient in these all new episodes of Down to Earth, Spatial Experts.

Watch Episode 1 Below:

In this 1st episode, Mark Schall, Owner and Chief Professional Officer at Spatial Data Consultants explains how the company has transitioned from using manned fixed wing and helicopter aircraft to drone surveying systems. “Initially the company was based off traditional photogrammetry using fixed wing and helicopter aircrafts,” said Schall. “We’ve now transitioned into drone and UAS systems for all of our Lidar and photogrammetry. The one thing we pride ourselves on is the level and competence and expertise we have in our personnel, like Fred Johnson, our current director of UAS Services.”

The episode continues with a brief analysis of a previous drone LiDAR point cloud created by SDC, before Fred walks through the planning process for an As-built Survey they will conduct with drone LiDAR for the new entrance at High Point University in North Carolina.

Watch Episode 2 Below:

Episode 2 sees the SDC team set up and fly a corridor surveying mission at the new entrance to High Point University. “We decided to do a corridor mission because the main focus was the new roadway leading into the campus,” explained Johnson. “I expect all of the details needed for the As-Built Survey to be clearly visible in my point cloud and photography.” 

Utilizing the mdLiDAR3000 from the Microdrones expert drone line, SDC will be able to deliver the planimetrics, topographical features and other construction structures to make sure that all of the improvements on Panther Drive were constructed in accordance with the original design specifications. However, during the As-Built Survey, the team ran into some unanticipated challenges in ground traffic and an open road-way.

Watch Episode 3 Below:

The third episode takes place back at the office of Spatial Data Consultants, where Fred processes the data to visualize the utilities, structures, and other construction features of the project in a LiDAR point cloud.  Using mdInfinity, a complete software solution for Drone LiDAR, and other 3rd party software, Johnson will see if he can successfully create the As-Built Survey and deliver the project.

The series concludes with the fourth episode set in a local bottle shop, where the team reviews the project, workflow, and shares their final thoughts and insights all while enjoying a cold beverage.

Watch Episode 4 below:

Drone LiDAR Point Cloud for an As-Built Survey

Take a look at the drone LiDAR point cloud that was created from the Spatial Data Consultants As-Built Survey project.

If you'd like to learn how you can start add drones to your workflow, talk with one of our knowledgeable sales managers.